Kurt Vonnegut once wrote that if you want to affect any sort of change in society, you need three types of people working in concert: 1) A true visionary, a brilliantly creative person with a revolutionary idea, 2) A highly respected individual who can and will endorse the visionary, reassuring people that they aren’t insane and 3) An effective communicator, or as Vonnegut put it: [Someone who] “will say almost anything in order to be interesting and exciting. Working alone, depending solely on his own shallow ideas, he would be regarded as being full of shit."

I’m acutely aware that I might be viewed as falling into that third category. And I’m acutely aware that I have and will be viewed as being “full of shit.” I certainly hope this won’t always be the case, but for now I accept it, happy that I can be of service in some way to anything positively transformative.

With that in mind, I turn your attention toward something I and my fellow TOP teammates are calling the 21st Century Enlightenment. Click the link for a rather stimulating description of this phenomenon, but to put it succinctly the 21st Century Enlightenment refers to a major shift in the way in which we as a species view our humanity and our engagement with each other. It refers to a myriad of changes, from major political and economic shifts to an evolution in the way in which we communicate and relate. Engagement with governments, businesses and social institutions will all be drastically altered from what is now considered an entrenched status quo.

“Wild assertions!” you might say. It’s understandable that you might think that, but I’m confident that it’s happening—and not just because plenty of indicators exist within THEE, (you’re welcome to delve into the epistemological underpinnings of THEE if you like) but because ever since I’ve been turned on to the idea, I see evidence of it all around. In fact, the more you’re aware of what’s happening in society, the more radical and revolutionary our particular point in history appears.

It’s probably no surprise that most of what’s happening revolves around Internet technology, but here are a few examples:


I’ve been researching this new type of currency and the implications are quite exciting. It’s rife with problems and perhaps Bitcoin itself won’t be the currency of the future, but something like it might be. Crypto-currencies could give us the ability to separate our money from governments, central banks and the financial institutions ready and waiting to pull a fast one with our bank accounts. And even further evidence of its significance is the fact that the powers that be—corporate and government economists, corporate media pundits and journalists, and government agencies—are going out of their way to tell us how ridiculous such an idea is.

Social media

We’ve heard it all before, but sometimes the power of Twitter is mind-boggling. Its trending feature allows users to catch events of importance from across the globe. For example, CNN Turkey was broadcasting cooking shows and pictures of cats recently while Turks revolted on the streets below. In the old days, we might have never known anything significant was going on in Istanbul, but thanks to social media, the whole world was aware and the people of Turkey were given worldwide support. 


It’s a new word for an old idea: changing the system from the inside. The great thing is, people willing to press their employers for higher product standards, better working conditions and social/environmental responsibility are being supported by wider society. And big organizations like Google are realizing the value of giving their employees more freedom to innovate. One of the features of the 21st Century Enlightenment is that people take responsibility for the organizations they work in, and that govern them, rather than just accepting what exists despite possible incongruences in values.

In the end, it’s all about values. And what’s happening now is the emergence of new values like respect and responsibility toward the environment, respect and acceptance of diversity, an expectation of integrity from our leaders and organizations and an individual desire to be authentic.

If that’s not enough to convince you that times are changing, I don’t know what will. Perhaps you don’t want to call it an “Enlightenment.” Fine, but parallels to the 18th Century Enlightenment, when considered in terms of values, are hard to ignore.

I’m finding that THEE is hard for people to penetrate and accept. I do understand why. But I am able to easily point out examples of what has been discovered by working with THEE, and not just in the context of a coming Enlightenment. Every bit of THEE is based on common sense, has real-world application and can be found in your own experience if you’re willing to look. It’s not a theory (which has been a roadblock for some, strangely), it’s not some fringe spiritual movement and it’s not wild, unsupported assertions. It’s simply you and it’s happening within you and without you at this very moment.

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